Formerly Blarney Stone, D.O.C. is a pizzeria from the Australian team behind The Camel. Honestly, when we heard that D.O.C. stood for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, a certification that the foods have been produced in a specific region using specific methods, we rolled our eyes. Yeah yeah, another title like “organic,” “grass-fed,” “waygu” etc., that in Shanghai generally doesn’t mean squat except higher prices. I was 100% wrong. The Australians and veteran Shanghai chef Stefano Pace have put their money where their mouths are with a pizzeria that refuses to cut corners, and serves some of the best pies and pastas in town.
An imperious-looking black wood-fired oven (think Darth Vader if he was a pizza oven) occupies the center of an open pizza kitchen. Vine-ripe tomatoes and artichokes in baskets illustrate D.O.C.’s emphasis on freshness while simple four-legged wood chairs, stylishly-weathered concrete, and jutting pipes lend the place a laid-back industrial feel – which seems to be the trend in restaurants throughout the US and Europe nowadays. Another permanent feature is the humongous crowd. And after trying the fare, we can see why.
The name of the game is pizza and D.O.C. offers everything from your simple margherita with mozzarella, and fresh basil (98RMB) to a tiger prawn pizza with cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, anchovy oil, and fresh chilies (130RMB). Pizzas are thin crust except the calzone pizza with mozzarella, ricotta, baby spinach, mortadella ham, and vetricinia salame (115RMB), and the catamarano abruzze (125RMB), a unique creation that looks like those paper boats (hence the name) kids used to float down the neighborhood creek if they were made of dough. Its passengers are scratch-made porchetta nemi, pork belly, mustard fruit, cheese, and radicchio. All are made with imported petali flour and San Pellegrino water.
We have yet to try all the pies, but so far we like the Pizza San Daniele (148RMB) with jet-fresh buffalo mozzarella, greens, and San Daniele Prosciutto. The mozzarella tastes jet-fresh as advertised and the prosciutto is tender, not too salty, and tearable so you can bite through both it and the pizza crust in one go. The crisp greens and tangy tomato sauce keep the pie from weighing down the stomach. Perhaps the only setback is that the crust, while deliciously charred, is a bit floppy, so when you pick it up the ingredients slide off the front in a cheese and meatvalanche. But if that was the only problem with most pizzas in Shanghai, the world would be a much better place.
Unlike most pizzerias, D.O.C. doesn’t slack on the sides, especially the pastas, of which our favorite is the hand-crafted organic duck egg pappardelle ribbon pasta with milk-marinated veal ragout (85RMB). The scratch-made, sturdy noodles make the dish. And don’t forget dessert, namely the tiramisu (60RMB), and gelato trio (120RMB).
Calling D.O.C. a pizzeria is like calling Buckingham Palace “some building.” Okay, sappy analogy, but Pizzeria really is just the setting for what would be a great restaurant in any cuisine. And the pizza prices compare to Mercato or Matto, as do the pizzas.
D.O.C. – B2-B3, 5 Dongping Lu, near Yueyang Lu, Xuhui district (徐汇区东平路5号B2-B3, 近岳阳路). Tel: (0)21-6415-7496.
See a complete list of our reviews here.
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].